1887

Abstract

serotype 6 is an understudied cause of diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries, and has been proposed as one of the major targets for vaccine development against shigellosis. Despite being named as , serotype 6 is phylogenetically distinct from other serotypes and more closely related to . This unique phylogenetic relationship and its low sampling frequency have hampered genomic research on this pathogen. Herein, by utilizing whole genome sequencing (WGS) and analyses of serotype 6 collected from epidemiological studies (1987–2013) in four Asian countries, we revealed its population structure and evolutionary history in the region. Phylogenetic analyses supported the delineation of Asian serotype 6 into two phylogenetic groups (PG-1 and −2). Notably, temporal phylogenetic approaches showed that extant Asian serotype 6 could be traced back to an inferred common ancestor arising in the 18 century. The dominant lineage PG-1 likely emerged in the 1970s, which coincided with the times to most recent common ancestors (tMRCAs) inferred from other major Southeast Asian serotypes. Similar to other serotypes in the same period in Asia, genomic analyses showed that resistance to first-generation antimicrobials was widespread, while resistance to more recent first-line antimicrobials was rare. These data also showed a number of gene inactivation and gene loss events, particularly on genes related to metabolism and synthesis of cellular appendages, emphasizing the continuing role of reductive evolution in the adaptation of the pathogen to an intracellular lifestyle. Together, our findings reveal insights into the genomic evolution of the understudied serotype 6, providing a new piece in the puzzle of epidemiology and evolution.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Wellcome Trust (Award 215515/Z/19/Z)
    • Principle Award Recipient: StephenBaker
  • Wellcome Trust (Award 218726/Z/19/Z)
    • Principle Award Recipient: HaoChung The
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2021-12-14
2022-05-18
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